With the growth of social media and public figures, the rise of the influencer has saturated social platforms and changed the way businesses are marketing their brand. “Influencer marketing is the fastest growing online customer acquisition method,” so it’s no wonder brands are spending less money on traditional marketing methods and are diving into the influencer platform to connect with their audiences, build trust with consumers, and preach their values.
According to Influence Central, business owners have ranked influencers as the 6th most effective way to get purchases & promote their brand.
So, what exactly is influencer marketing and how can your business benefit from it?
Influencer marketing is essentially using a public figure’s audience and voice to promote a brand’s products or services. Brands collaborate with individuals who hold power over their followers to run campaigns and sell products. Through this method, brands are able to connect with their audiences by using the influencer as a liaison between the consumers and the brand.
The beauty of influencer marketing is that your influencer can be anyone. Endorsements and campaigns are no longer strictly for celebrities or large public figures – an influencer can be a power-lifter from Michigan, a mom from Houston, or a fashion blogger from Los Angeles. Influencers can be found in almost every niche and can promote just about any service or product, if it fits their brand and resonates with their followers.
A study by Twitter showed that 49% of consumers depend on influencer recommendations.
So, how does it work?
It’s pretty simple: i
Working with influencers can really take-on all kinds of forms. From endorsements and affiliate programs to sponsored posts, there are numerous ways to approach this marketing tool. With sponsored posts ranging anywhere from $50-400,000 a post, brands should find an influencer that best fits their audience and, well, their budget.
What defines an influencer?
Before a brand even steps into to this marketing platform, the influencer has been busy at work building their audience, perfecting their language, and growing their engagement to include a base of loyal followers who don’t just ‘like’ their content, but who actually listen.
But how do you know who is an influencer?
Power speaks in numbers, and we know this to be true. Engagement rate and followers are the two main factors in figuring out if the influencer really has an impact. Although an influencer can be one of any magnitude, one can generally see power from influencers with a minimum of 5,000 followers. The more followers, the more influence. But the second factor is just as important, if not more than, that number.
This is the trusty number that will show a brand just how engaged their audience really is. The higher this number the more influence and power this figure has on their following. The engagement rate is an algorithm that reflects the number of comments and likes compared to the number of followers one has.
We have a pretty trusty tool we like to use to find and compare engagement rates free to use here.
How do you identify the right influencers for your brand?
- Establish who your audience is and who their audience is. Will their followers be interested in your brand? Will they buy your products? If the answer is no, or even a hesitant maybe, move on to the next influencer.
- Ensure the influencer has engagement power. Although our first instinct is to always look at follower count, you should also be fervent in reviewing their engagement rate. You don’t just want a lot of followers, you want loyal followers who listen and engage with the influencer. Use our free engagement tool to check a profile’s engagement percentage rate.
- Ensure the influencer’s personality aligns with your brand. You want an influencer to promote your product as if it’s something they love and use as part of their everyday life. Not only should the influencer’s audience fit yours, but their personality should fit with your brand culture – you want to be confident knowing the influencer will promote your brand in a way that is true to your values.
- Evaluate how often your influencer is promoting and sponsoring other brands and content. Why is this important? If an influencer is using all of their platform power on promoted content, eventually their level of ‘authentic influence’ is really going to dwindle. What makes an influencer great is their ability to work in sponsored content into their everyday posts. Not only does this continue to build trust between their platform and their audience, but it allows them to give your brand a unique voice which is not being shared with countless other brands.
Once you find the right influencer, what’s next?
After you’ve established contact and secured an influencer, your next step is to create a campaign that’s going to work for your influencer and persuade their audience. There are many different ways to go about this and it’ll take some brainstorming on your end, and maybe even some input from the influencer you’re working with
Some ideas of campaigns could be:
- Instagram Stories of them using your product
- A ‘behind-the-scenes’ look of the influencer at your business or trying your product/service live
- An Instagram take-over
- Co-design a new line or product with your i
Influencer marketing is one of the hottest, most current marketing techniques to grow brands and grab the attention of your audience on a new level.
According to Bootstrapping Ecommerce, “Influencer marketing generates 11 times the ROI of traditional digital marketing.”
With those numbers, why wouldn’t you want to invest some of your marketing budget into this method? Every body needs a little help from their friends!